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Richard Earl Caves (born 1 November 1931, Akron, Ohio) is an American economist, and Emeritus Professor of Economics at Harvard University.[1] He is known for his work on Multinational enterprises,[2] on industrial organization,[3] and on the creative industries.[4] He is known within the motion pictures economics field as the author of a definitive book on the organization of the creative industries titled, Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce.[citation needed]

Richard E. Caves
Born1931 (age 87–88)
InstitutionHarvard University
FieldMotion picture economics
Gottfried Haberler
Michael Porter
Elhanan Helpman
Peter Navarro


Education and academic careerEdit

Caves obtained his BA in economics at Oberlin College in 1953. He continued his studies at Harvard University, where he obtained his MA in economics in 1956, and his PhD in 1958.[5][6]

In 1957, Caves started his academic career at the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Joe S. Bain. In 1962 he moved back to Harvard University, where he was appointed Professor of Economics and lectured in industrial organization and international trade.[5] He served as Department Chairman from 1966 to 1969 and Chairman of the Ph.D in Business Economics from 1984 to 1997, and was also the George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration from 1986 to 1997, and subsequently the Nathaniel Ropes Research Professor of Political Economy, from 1997 on. He retired at Harvard in 2003, and became Emeritus Professor of Economics.[6] He also sat on the editorial board of the Review of Economics and Statistics from 1992 to 1996.

Consulting workEdit

Caves has acted as a Consultant on various topics to various bodies. He was an adviser on international monetary problems for the US Council of Economic Advisers in 1961, and deputy to the Special Assistant to the President on foreign trade policy in the same year. From 1963-4 he was a member of the Review Committee for Balance of Payments Statistics at the US Bureau of the Budget, (also known as the Bernstein Committee). In 1964 he was also a member of the White House Task Force on Foreign Economic Policy. From 1972-3 he acted as a consultant to the Council of Ontario Universities, and from 1975-6 he was a consultant to the Royal Commission on Corporate Concentration.[citation needed]

Contributions to Creative IndustriesEdit

Caves specializes in industrial and political economics, having authored several books on industrial efficiency, productivity, and competition. Using this background, Caves provides new insight into the economics of the artistic and creative endeavor. In his book, Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce, Caves looks at the visual and performing arts, cinema and television, sound recordings, book publishing, and toys and games to investigate how the theory of contracts and the logic of economic organization affect the production of "simple creative goods" and more "complex goods" like plays or motion pictures, which require teams of artists with diverse talents.

Under Caves' scrutiny, art collectors and moviegoers are consumers; gallery owners are "gatekeepers"; and critics are "certifiers."

Sociologist Paul DiMaggio commented that the book:

promises to be a much-needed touchstone for work in cultural economics, the sociology of art and culture, and the interdisciplinary field of arts and cultural policy analysis.::

Awards and PrizesEdit

  • Wells Prize, Harvard University, 1957–8
  • Ford Foundation Faculty Research Fellowship, 1959–60
  • Gerard C. Henderson Prize, Harvard Law School, 1966
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1968
  • Galbraith Prize, 1976, 1981
  • Kenan Enterprise Award, 1990
  • Doctor of Economic Science, University of London, 1999
  • Eminent Scholar, Academy of International Business, 1999
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, Academy of International Business, 1998
  • Doctor of Economic Science, University of London, 1999
  • Distinguished Fellow, Industrial Organization Society, 2001.[7]

Selected publicationsEdit

Articles, a selection:

  • Caves, Richard E. "International corporations: The industrial economics of foreign investment." Economica (1971): 1-27.
  • Caves, Richard E. "Multinational firms, competition, and productivity in host-country markets." Economica (1974): 176-193.
  • Caves, Richard E., and Michael E. Porter. "From entry barriers to mobility barriers: Conjectural decisions and contrived deterrence to new competition*." The Quarterly Journal of Economics (1977): 241-261.
  • Caves, Richard E. "Industrial organization and new findings on the turnover and mobility of firms." Journal of economic literature (1998): 1947-1982.


  1. ^ "Richard E Caves". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Lundvall, Bengt-Åke, ed. National systems of innovation: Toward a theory of innovation and interactive learning. Vol. 2. Anthem Press, 2010.
  3. ^ Shane, Scott, and Sankaran Venkataraman. "The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research." Academy of management review 25.1 (2000): 217-226.
  4. ^ Scott, W. Richard. Institutions and organizations: Ideas and interests. Sage, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Richard E. Caves, Marc J. Roberts, Brookings Institution (1974). Regulating the product: quality and variety. p. 269
  6. ^ a b H. W. de Jong, William G. Shepherd (2007) Pioneers of Industrial Organization: How the Economics of Competition and Monopoly Took Shape. p. 250
  7. ^